The Story in the Journey

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Sergey Cherep

The passion of an artist – the collection of stories and emotions that inspire their art – is more to them than just their talent.  They share their stories with the audience in hopes that the subject on display would be understood. For many painters, this is not an easy feat. They pour their soul onto the canvas in hopes that someone would feel the sentiment that is part of their creation. There is almost always no guarantee that the audience will understand where they’re coming from.

Oftentimes, the viewer does not understand the pain that was felt nor do they hear the sounds of inspiration motivating the artist to continue painting their particular image. If an artist can translate these emotions into their artistry and effectively have the viewer feel them, the image is better appreciated. A relationship is then built between the viewer and the artist. This becomes the basis of genuinely collecting art.

There is a story that is a part of every artist’s journey. The road is full of discipline, defying the odds, overcoming obstacles, and deep self-assessment – all of such avenues lead to the same outcome: finding success with contentment.

Sergey Cherep is no stranger in understanding the importance of having these attributes in his own story. He never allowed life’s hiccups to detour him from achieving his goal as an artist.

Cherep, born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Russia, started studying art from an early age.  As a toddler, he developed meningitis and became paralyzed inhibiting him from being able to walk, speak or hear in his right ear for several years. But even as a young child, Sergey found comfort in painting.

Sergey’s talent was refined by attending college at the prestigious Serevo Institute. There he was taught classic art forms, restoration methods and understanding European art history. Because the school was free, they were able to dictate what they wanted the students to create, not allowing them to be innovative in their artistry. “We did very traditional things; there was no freedom. There was no such thing as abstract art because it was considered very Western and evil.” 

After trying his hand at selling art on the streets of Russia, Sergey caught hold of a new dream. He made the decision to come to America and find the artistic freedom he so desperately desired. Sergey worked hard and it paid off. Every morning he would wake up before the sun to start sketching. Once he is comfortable with his drawing, he would begin to paint. Sergey signature style allows his work to be recognized immediately.

As a self-confessed Post-Impressionist, he admits the resemblance of his technique with that of the great Van Gogh’s. “I love the simplicity of color and energy found in his work. The bold unrealistic colors and expressive brushstrokes of my predecessors are my tools as I try to bring a three-dimensional feeling out from the painting by using color perspective and thick texture. My paintings are like fairy tales- a dream place. I don’t see things as realistic. I allow for the fantastic to happen.”

Sergey Cherep will be painting live at Baterbys Second Fridays event on April 13th. There, it will be easy to watch a great artist unfold his story as he allows us to be a part of his journey. As you understand his work and his life better, maybe you’ll walk away with more than just a work of art.